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Italy weighs up response to deadly football violence

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Italy weighs up response to deadly football violence


On day two of Italy’s indefinite football ban, silence reigns in the nation’s stadiums but sporting authorities have plenty to talk about. Radical measures are being discussed after a policeman was killed on Friday in clashes between fans.

Today the Italian Olympic Committee held an emergency meeting.

Its former President Mario Pescante said: “I believe the committee should ask the Italian parliament to recover some bills – particularly one from 2001 inspired by English legislation – which was softened and made ineffective during its legislative path.”

On Monday the body will discuss its recommendations with the government, which has already pledged robust action.

Sports fans are well aware that the future of the game in Italy is at stake. “I hope this suspension can really serve a purpose and that something is done for football,” said one man, interviewed in the street.

“Football is in an impasse and if we don’t take the most appropriate and stiff measures, I think we are heading towards the end of football,” added another.

While brawls at Italian stadiums are common, the riots following Friday’s Serie A match between Sicilian rivals Palermo and Catania shocked a nation still basking in the glow of last year’s World Cup victory.

Authorities said today that policeman Filippo Raciti died of injuries to his abdomen and liver. His funeral will take place on Monday.

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